Friday, December 5, 2014
Gruss vom Krampus! The dark side of Christmas, Krampusnacht, has come again. For those not familiar with the Krampus legend (and I feel sorry for you if that's the case), Krampus is the evil twin of St. Nicholas (or Father Christmas/Santa Claus, depending on where in the world you live). While St. Nick rewards the good children, Krampus (a large hairy demon with horns, cloven hooves, and an abnormally long tongue), punishes the naughty children, usually by whipping them with a birch switch or, in more extreme cases, being tossed into the basket he carries on his back and carried off to either Hell or Krampus's lair where they are cooked and eaten (sometimes they are sold into slavery in Spain; it all depends on which version of the legend you hear). Traditionally a Germanic Christmas custom, Krampus has now gained a cult following across the world, with Krampuslaufs (traditional Krampus parades, held on December 5th) being held across North America. There is even talk of a film based on the Krampus legend to be helmed by Michael Dougherty of Trick 'r Treat fame. With no signs of his underground popularity waning, it seems Krampus is here to stay.